“Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:13.
The moment you become a Christian, many wonderful and amazing things occur. You are united forever with Christ, you are declared righteous before God, you are placed into God’s family as an adopted child, and God begins a work in you of setting you apart from sin to Himself. What about your relation to other Christians though? Do you need them? Do they need you? If you are a Christian, you do need other believers. God expects believers to grow in their faith and to do so by growing together in God’s Word. The growth and protection Christians need to experience occurs as believers assemble together as a local church. Christians and Christian families need each other to grow in their Christian faith. “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27) If it is just Jesus and you, you will never grow into the person God wants you to be. Christians and Christian families need each other to grow in their Christian faith
1 Corinthians 12:24-26 says, “…while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.” Paul argues that every member of the body is necessary. There are no exceptions. Those body parts that are deemed weaker, less honorable, or less visible, are all critically important.
Christians need the support of other believers if they are to grow in their faith. Recipients of the letter to the Hebrews were encouraged to ‘think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works, to “encourage one another.”’ (Hebrews 10.24-25). Encouragement and support is best provided through a variety of people.
When I was much younger, I loved the story of the Lone Ranger. What is there not to love? The Lone Ranger was a resourceful, smart, and courageous person, but in every episode he needed the help of townspeople, a posse, and certainly Tonto. While the Lone Ranger had to strategically and carefully enlist the help of others, God has provided for every possible need we could have on this earth through His Word and His people, the church. If you are going to take on the bad guys, you will need other believer’s help and they will need your help. That is because God built us, not only to need Him, but to need each other.
- Do you ever wonder if you really need to go to church or spend time with other believers? What are the consequences for you trying to live for God on your own? What are the consequences for the body when you make that choice?
- What are some ways in which the church operates like a body?
- How often do you consciously think about how well you understand the fact that, you are part of the body of Christ? What about your role in the body?